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Force's former All Black confident of success

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rugbywa.com.au and James Mortimer     08 Mar 2013     Getty Images

Marquee signing Alby Mathewson conceded discipline and standards were major factors in the 30-23 and 22-10 losses to the Rebels and Kings respectively but said the effort against the Bulls represented a level the side needed to maintain moving forward.

“That’s the standard we want to be at for the rest of the season,” Mathewson said. “We set the bar in that game and we don’t want to go below that.

“Obviously we’re still disappointed, we felt we had that game as well and couldn’t close it out but everyone is pretty proud of the effort we’d put in.

“They are a tough team at home, the Bulls, but that’s where the standard needs to be and it’s not going to drop below that.

“Playing the Bulls over there and sticking with them for the majority of the game just shows we can play with the best of them so we’re looking to build on that performance.

“We’re not here to just make up numbers or anything like that and we’re not looking for excuses, we are here to win and we believe we can.”

The team has the bye this weekend and will make the most of the chance to recover from the three-week tour of Melbourne and South Africa that kicked off the season. Next week the side will jet off again to take on the Queensland Reds in Brisbane.

“It is good to have a break and let the body recover a bit particularly after touring for three weeks,” Mathewson said.

“We can just focus on the things we need to work on and then rip in next week against the Reds.

“We are definitely looking for results and we will get them. We are just as disappointed as the fans are with those first three results because we probably should be three wins from three games not three losses but we’ve had our tour and can rest up before taking on some Aussie teams as well as the Cheetahs in our first home game.”

As for the move over to Western Australia, Mathewson said he is extremely happy with the decision and is enjoying playing with the team.

“We’ve had a few combination changes in the backs but the transition has been pretty good,” he said. “I’m really enjoying it; we’re getting a good balance of running and kicking across the field.

“It was great to see Sias [Ebersohn] slip so easily into the playmaker role on the weekend and it shows we’re pretty tight as a unit.

“Obviously winning makes it more enjoyable but I’m confident we will start seeing results.

“I’m particularly looking forward to our first home game and playing in front of our home crowd.

“I’ve heard a lot about the Sea of Blue and the loyalty of the home crowd. Every time I played over here with the New Zealand teams there was always a good crowd and you can see we’ve got a good loyal support base which is not heard of too often in rugby.”